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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My former husband is squatting in a property belonging to

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My former husband is squatting in a property belonging to me.He has gone and changed the locks on another property of mine ,denying me access.
Have not lived with him since 2000.Decree absolute 2012
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

What did the police have to say about this?

Why has he done this?

It would help if you could explain the background detail please. Thank you

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
They say it is a civil matter regardless of what he does. They do not want to get involved.
All property is in my name only.
Been through High Court in 2006. In the event that I sell the properties ,he will get half. I am willing to do what is required to sell off and get closure,but he is devious and obstructive all the time.
He transferred two of his own properties to his brothers.No money changed hands ,about 4 years ago.No need to be squatting in mine and causing distress,damage and harassment.
Any efforts on my part to sell are obstructed by him putting in troublesome tenants,taking rent,doing shoddy unsolicited work,amounting to severe damage,changing locks and squatting.
He is squatting in a property for the second time, somewhere around two years.He did it in one previous to 2012 and was hospitalised with pneumonia etc.
He is now doing his encore in another property. And has changed the locks on this one here,denying me and estate agent access with potential buyers today.
My son put new locks on three weeks ago,so that the estate agent could get in.
A saga.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Waiting for your response to above.Thanks
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

The fact that he may be your ex-husband is not relevant.

He is just another person.

You need to go back to the police because since October 2012, squatting in residential property has been a criminal offence. They are just taking the line of least resistance and saying that it is a civil matter.

complaint to a senior officer the chief constable if need be and show them the above page.

It is a civil matter but it is also a criminal matter.

Depending on how he got into the properties, if he broke in, that is criminal damage and is also a police matter.

He doesn’t pay rent and you can simply break into the property (it is in your sole name) when he is not there, change the locks provided you give him his belongings back.

If you are doing that, tell the police that you have been advised to do that, so them this answer, and tell them you are going to do so that your exhusband cannot allege any kind of violence.

If you would rather not have the confrontation, you need to make an application to court for a court order to make him leave the properties. If you asked the court to attach the notice, and if the ex does not move out, he will be arrested.

I am assuming that this is not the former matrimonial home as that does make a difference

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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